Submitted by Tequila_Wolf in quotes

Anarchist society, a society which organizes itself without authority, is always in existence, like a seed beneath the snow, buried under the weight of the state and its bureaucracy, capitalism and its waste, privilege and its injustices, nationalism and its suicidal loyalties, religious differences and their superstitious separatism ... far from being a speculative vision of a future society, [anarchism] is a description of a mode of human organization, rooted in the experience of everyday life, which operates side by side with, and in spite of, the dominant authoritarian trends of our society.

Colin Ward (1973: 11)

Thoughts welcome.



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fail wrote

cool quote. Colin Ward helped me realize i’m an anarchist


subrosa wrote

Not much I could possibly dislike in that definition, except for that hint of anarchist society as a 'natural' or already existent state of things, with the institutions and systems of authority piled onto it unnaturally. If nothing else, traditionally, anarchists have often started from opposite accounts — hierarchical society as a natural order we'll have to overcome, with anarchic (perfected) relations piled onto it.

I might also question anarchism being any more rooted in the experience of everyday life than the dominant authoritarian trends of our society. Roughly the same concern.


kinshavo wrote

I wish I had this view. Like the certainty of anarchist, once a professor said that anarchy would be the natural state of human society in 10 thousand years.

I disagree bc this gave the impression that anarchy is the natural state of humankind when you quit the awful things... It's like you take all the bad and what is left must be anarchy, but nothing is left so anarchy is left? (Void fandom confirmed, nihilists rejoisce).

I like the seed under heavy snow metaphor tho, we need this resistance spirit, going against the current type of energy. And the argument about being an everyday thing is one of the main points I make when I talk about what I feel about anarchy. Not sure if it's a human organization type of thing but surely is a "side by side with, and in spite of, the dominant authoritarian trends of our society."


Majrelende wrote (edited )

I've heard, and seen much evidence for, the extreme flexibility of these natural states. Nothing seems really unnatural or natural--it is like flipping a coin, and one side is seen, but the other is still hidden, suppressed, pressed to a table, "like a seed beneath the snow". There still exist horizontal relations like friendship, and it will take a mountain of effort on the part of authority to stomp that out; and there is no way anarchy can destroy the part of us that makes domination and authority possible.


fortmis wrote

Colin Ward (1973: 11)

Love how this citation reads like a bible quote. My kind of bible.

Great quote.

also "Nationalism and it's suicidal loyalties." They SAID IT


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

Interesting. I read in it that there is always both forces of hierarchy and anarchy in society - and that this is the natural and already-existent state of things, where at the moment the forces of hierarchy are dominant, but developing anarchy is always present or at least a latent possibility.